Poole Grammar School, Gravel Hill, Poole, Dorset, BH17 9JU | Tel: 01202 692132 | Email: pgsoffice@poolegrammar.com
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Physics Curriculum Overview Statement

The Physics curriculum at Poole Grammar School has three elements:

1) Intent: What do we learn?

2) Implementation: How do we learn it?

3) Impact: How do we know we have been successful?

Intent

All students at Poole Grammar School study physics from Year 7 to Year 11; around a third of students choose to continue their physics studies to Year 13.

In Year 7 physics is taught as part of a combined science course. In year 10 students may choose whether to study AQA GCSE combined science (two GCSE qualifications) or AQA GCSE biology, chemistry & physics (three GCSE qualifications). At A-level students study for the AQA Physics qualification, with the vast majority studying the Astrophysics option.

Each year is broken down into three or four overarching topics. Within these, the essential disciplinary knowledge that enables students to collect, process, understand and evaluate scientific evidence as well as to understand how our understanding of the universe was established is developed alongside their substantive knowledge about forces, energy, waves and more. At GCSE and A-level, the content is closely based upon the AQA specification, but the content has been restructured to enable a logical progression through the curriculum whilst also re-visiting and reinforcing the underlying concepts regularly.

The Physics curriculum is ambitious and appropriate for all learners. All teaching staff in the department are degree-qualified and possess the necessary skills to adapt lesson content to the needs of all students. Staff are able to integrate the applications of physics within the lesson: within the department staff have used physics professionally within the engineering and medical physics fields and have pursued physics research to post-doctoral level. A considerable amount of time each year is devoted to the continual development of the programmes of study. Staff are actively involved in developing the teaching of physics within the region through being an institute of physics coach, delivering teacher subject specialism training and through our involvement in the Wessex Schools PGCE programme.

Implementation

 The seven years of study are based around a spiral curriculum: a student will meet each fundamental concept multiple times throughout their school career, with each encounter increasing in complexity and reinforcing their previous learning. Students are summatively assessed at the end of each topic with formative assessment happening continuously through the programme of study. Students also examinations on the broader work that they have covered in the summer of year 10 and the spring of year 11.

Students at Poole Grammar School study the following topics in their physics lessons (2019-2020): Items that are not studied by students undertaking combined science are marked *.

 

YEAR 7

FORCES

SPACE

ENERGY

 

 

YEAR 8

WHAT IS PHYSICS?

HEAT

SOUND AND LIGHT

ELECTRICITY & MAGNETISM

YEAR 9

MEASUREMENTS & DENSITY             

  Working scientifically

  Density of materials

FORCES: INTERACTIONS AND MOTION

   Forces & their interactions

   Forces & motion

   Newton’s laws & braking

WAVE BASICS

   Fundamental properties of waves

   Mechanical waves (sound, ultrasound, seismic)

SPACE

   Our solar system

   Red-shift

YEAR 10

ENERGY

   Energy changes & conservation of energy

   Changes of state, internal energy & energy transfers

ELECTRICITY

   Static electricity & electric fields*

   Current, potential difference & resistance

ATOMIC STRUCTURE

   Atoms & isotopes

   Atoms & nuclear radiation

   Hazards & uses of radioactivity; background radiation*

   Nuclear fission & fusion*

WAVES

   Light & other electromagnetic waves

   Black body radiation*

YEAR 11

ELECTROMAGNETISM AND MAINS ELECTRICITY

   Uses of electricity, safety & electrical power

   Magnetism, magnetic forces & fields

   The motor effect

   The generator effect and transformers*

   Energy resources and the national grid

PRESSURE

   Pressure & pressure differences in fluids*

   Particle model & pressure*

FURTHER FORCES

   Momentum

   Elasticity

   Moments levers & gears*

Impact

By the end of Key Stage 3, students will have a basic understanding of the fundamental concepts that they have covered; be able to plan, safely carry out, document and analyze a physics experiment and hey will be able to carry out physics calculations using three variable.

By the end of Key Stage 4, will have secure understanding of the material in the relevant GCSE specification and will be able to appropriately carry out relatively complex physics experiments, paying due regard to risks and errors. Many students will be well prepared to start an A-level physics course.

 By the end of Key Stage 5, will have secure understanding of the material in the A-level specification and will be able to appropriately carry out complex and potentially hazardous physics experiments, paying due regard to risks and errors. Students will be well prepared, both in terms of their theoretical knowledge and their practical skills, to start an undergraduate physics or engineering course.